Neottia cordata (L.) Rich.

heart-leaved twayblade

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Heart-leaved twayblade has the widest distribution of any species in the genus, being found throughout the cool temperate regions and mountains of the northern hemisphere. It is typically found on peat-moss hummocks in forested swamps, especially those dominated by northern white cedar and spruce. Rare in New England, heart-leaved twayblade populations are occasionally large, but more often quite small and therefore vulnerable to disturbance, including changes to hydrology, timber harvesting and road and trail construction.

Habitat

Alpine or subalpine zones, lacustrine (in lakes or ponds), mountain summits and plateaus, ridges or ledges, shores of rivers or lakes, swamps

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf arrangement
  • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
  • opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
  • whorled: there are three or more leaves per node along the stem
Number of leaves on stem
  • three
  • two
Form of lower petal
the labellum does not have a pouch-like shape
Lower petal outline
the labellum is lobed but not fringed
Main color of lower petal
  • blue to purple
  • green to brown
  • yellow
Nectar spur
there are no nectar spurs on the flower
Inflorescence type
the inflorescence is a raceme (a long unbranched stem with stalked flowers growing along it)
Lower petal characteristics
the labellum is lobed
Lower petal length
3–4 mm
Sepal length
2–3 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Flower bract length
    1–1.5 mm
    Flower petal color
    • green
    • pink
    • purple
    • yellow
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Flowering date
    • August
    • July
    • June
    • May
    Flowers per inflorescence
    5–25
    Form of lower petal
    the labellum does not have a pouch-like shape
    Hairs on flower stalk
    the flower stalk has no hairs on it
    Hairs on inflorescence axis
    at least some of the hairs on the main stem of the inflorescence have glands
    Inflorescence length
    20–100 mm
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a raceme (a long unbranched stem with stalked flowers growing along it)
    Labellum position
    the labellum is in the lower position on the flower
    Length of flower stalk
    2–3 mm
    Length of narrowed base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lobes at base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lower petal characteristics
    the labellum is lobed
    Lower petal length
    3–4 mm
    Lower petal outline
    the labellum is lobed but not fringed
    Lower petal strongly red-veined
    no
    Main color of lower petal
    • blue to purple
    • green to brown
    • yellow
    Nectar spur
    there are no nectar spurs on the flower
    Nectar spur length
    0 mm
    Number of stamens
    1
    Orientation of side petals
    • the lateral petals are angled steeply upwards
    • the lateral petals slant outward
    Self-pollinating flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on this plant
    Sepal length
    2–3 mm
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Spots on lower petal
    no
    Spur opening membrane
    NA
    Spur opening shape
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Seed capsule orientation
    the capsule points upwards or is angled outwards
  • Growth form
    Plant green or not
    the plant is chlorophyllous (it has green parts)
    Roots
    the rhizomes do not resemble coral
    Underground organs
    there are only slender roots on the plant
  • Leaves
    Bract relative length
    the bract is shorter than the associated flower
    Features of leaves
    the leaf does not have any of the mentioned special features
    Leaf arrangement
    • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    • opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
    • whorled: there are three or more leaves per node along the stem
    Leaf blade edges
    the edges of the leaf blade have no teeth
    Leaf blade length
    9–20 mm
    Leaf blade length to width ratio
    1–1.3
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf is a shape other than those described
    Leaf blade tip
    • the tip of the leaf blade is acuminate (tapers to a long, thin point)
    • the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    Leaf blade width
    7–20 mm
    Leaves during flowering
    there are leaves on the plant when it is flowering
    Number of leaves on stem
    • three
    • two
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • alpine or subalpine zones
    • in lakes or ponds
    • mountain summits and plateaus
    • ridges or ledges
    • shores of rivers or lakes
    • swamps

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in wetlands, but occasionally in non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACW)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
New Hampshire
rare (S-rank: S2), threatened (code: T)
Rhode Island
historical (S-rank: SH), state historical (code: SH)
Vermont
uncommon (S-rank: S3)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Neottia bifolia

Synonyms

  • Bifolium cordatum (L.) Nieuwl.
  • Listera cordata (L.) R. Br.
  • Ophrys cordata L.

Family

Orchidaceae

Genus

Neottia

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

4.  Neottia cordata (L.) Rich. N

heart-leaved twayblade. Bifolium cordatum (L.) Nieuwl.; Listera cordata (L.) R. Br.; 
 Ophrys cordata L. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Swamps and pond shores, often in the shade 
of Thuja occidentalis or other evergreen trees, glacial basins, subalpine forests, and 
rarely near high mountain summits.